Poll: Byron Donalds leads potential 2026 GOP Governor’s race
Byron Donalds burns the candle at both ends.

The Congressman has broad appeal and high favorable numbers compared to the rest of the potential field surveyed.

Though there are no declared candidates yet, a new survey has a Southwest Florida member of Congress ahead in a hypothetical race to succeed Ron DeSantis in the Governor’s Mansion.

The Victory Insights survey has U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds with a plurality of support in a still-embryonic field of potential candidates among 1,200 registered likely Republican voters in the 2026 Primary.

He is ahead of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, CFO Jimmy Patronis and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson.

Per the memo accompanying the poll, “Donalds (21%) currently leads the field, trailed by Gaetz (13%), Waltz (5%), Patronis (3%), and Simpson (2%). More than 40% of voters are undecided, and another 14% say they support ‘someone else.’”

Donalds has strong support from his district, the pollsters note, with nearly half the votes from Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

Gaetz has the highest negatives, which are offset by support from so-called “Donald Trump MAGA Republicans.” But he only won his district by 13%, with Patronis cutting into his margin. Waltz did not carry his district, and Simpson was “not a factor” in any of the three Congressmen’s home districts.

Donalds leads with all five “types” of Republicans considered in the survey: the aforementioned MAGA Republicans, as well as so-called “constitutional conservatives,” “social conservatives,” “traditional Republicans” and “moderate Republicans.” He has the highest positive name identification and the lowest negative name identification out of the field.

Endorsements from Trump and DeSantis would matter. More than half of respondents value the former President’s take, while more than 3 in 5 would consider the current Governor’s blessing before casting their August 2026 ballots.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • MH/Duuuval

    April 12, 2024 at 9:50 am

    Realistically, Gaetz should win this in MAGA Florida although the Egg Man has piled up a mountain of cash already.

    • Impeach Biden

      April 12, 2024 at 10:08 am

      Gaetz was a rising star in the party. He is nothing but a punk in my eyes after that Speaker of the House removal he lead last year.

  • Impeach Biden

    April 12, 2024 at 9:53 am

    Would be a great choice. Of course the racist Demos would call him an Uncle Tom.

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 12, 2024 at 11:06 am

      You seem to be the only one calling Mr Donalds an UT, IBS.


      • MH/Duuuval

        April 12, 2024 at 4:59 pm

        Like father DJT, like son IBS: Cannot control their tongue which is good for the rest of us since we won’t be fooled again, right?

    • rick whitaker

      April 15, 2024 at 4:33 pm

      IM, no, you just said it. that’s not a freudian slip, it’s a racist slip. sound’s like you punked yourself.

  • PeterH

    April 12, 2024 at 6:21 pm

    Not much worse than Rick Scott…..but I believe Florida can and should do better.

    In 2000, Byron pleaded no contest to a felony theft charge for allegedly attempting to defraud a bank by depositing a bad check, but his record was later sealed and expunged. According to an attorney consulted by the fact-checking site Politifact, “Donalds would not have been able to get his record expunged if the state considered him a convicted felon.” ……. Unless of course Donalds is beholden to DeSantis or the Florida Attorney General.


    April 12, 2024 at 6:47 pm

    Good evening America,
    The left hates Black men, White women, and White men.
    The left will pay dearly at each and every up-coming election.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American


      April 12, 2024 at 6:49 pm

      ….. so yes America,
      Its OK to “Relax Your Political Sphincters”.
      Earl Pitts American

      • Rick Whitaker

        April 12, 2024 at 7:57 pm


  • JD

    April 12, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    And Republicans run another morally bankrupt person for Governor – Scott being the biggest, and Donalds an ex-drug dealer and bank fraudster. DeSantis was just inept.

    Just want we need in Government. DRAIN THE SWAMP.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 13, 2024 at 10:19 am

      As Pogo, a leading Okefenokee resident said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  • arizona

    April 13, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    try not to choke

  • arizona

    April 13, 2024 at 12:08 pm


  • arizona

    April 13, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    imma f you up lol

  • arizona

    April 13, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    no matter where you go

Comments are closed.


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